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Horse Racing: What A Shout: Galopin Des Champs May Be Vulnerable at Cheltenham

On this week's What A Shout, host Dave Orton is joined by Robbie Wilders and Johnny Dineen from the Racing Post and bet365’s Pat Cooney, as they preview the racing from Leopardstown, Sandown Musselburgh this weekend.

We've picked out some highlights from this week's edition of What A Shout in association with bet365.

Dineen expect Galopin Des Champs to win Irish Gold Cup

The Irish Gold Cup is the feature race on day one of the Dublin Racing Festival. 

Galopin Des Champs is the 1/3 favourite to prevail and enhance his reputation ahead of the Cheltenham Festival. 

Dineen expects him to win comfortably on Saturday, however, he is going to be taking on Willie Mullins’ exciting chaser at Cheltenham.

He said: “Galopin Des Champs should win the Irish Gold Cup, and I expect Stattler to come home second. However, I don’t think Galopin Des Champs should be as short as he is in Gold Cup betting. Remember, the Gold Cup is not over 3m, there is an extra two and a half furlongs. I am not 100% sure he will see out that race as he would a 3m contest. 

“Sometimes you need a horse who can slog in a Gold Cup, especially if it comes up as heavy ground. He is such a quick horse, and I am just worried he is going to be vulnerable. If it was the King George, I’d fancy him strongly, but they are completely different races. Even winning the Irish Gold Cup does not prove he will get the Cheltenham Gold Cup trip.” 

Wilders is interested in the betting without Galopin Des Champs with bet365. Fury Road is 6/1 in this market, and he believes Gordon Elliott’s runner is worth siding with here.

He said: “Fury Road runs well at Leopardstown. He finished third in Savills Chase last time out. His form has improved this season and there may be more to come from him. 

“Kemboy is another horse who tends to produce his best at Leopardstown, but he is 11-year-olds now. Fury Road is only nine and he remains on the upgrade.” 

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Dineen very keen on State Man for Irish Champion Hurdle

The Irish Champion Hurdle is the feature contest on day two of the Dublin Racing Festival on Sunday. State Man is the 1/1 favourite for the race and Dineen cannot look past Mullins’ hurdler. 

He said: “I think State Man is a good thing in this race. I can’t have Vauban as I don’t see how he can overturn the form with State Man. Honeysuckle is nine-year-olds now, and she surely can’t be getting better. Even at her peak, there is no guarantee she would beat State Man here. 

“State Man should be at the front end of the field jumping the second last hurdle, a crucial obstacle at Leopardstown. If he is in front after that, it will be all over.” 

Wilders is siding with Vauban to bounce back to success in this race, while he echoed Dineen’s view on Honeysuckle. 

He said: “It was Vauban’s first start of the season when he finished second to State Man over this C&D back in December. He was considered one of the best juveniles we had seen in years last season. I don’t think there is very much between Vauban and State Man. 

“Honeysuckle is not as good as she used to be. I don’t think she will finish in the frame in this race.”

Ground concerns for Gerri Colombe say panel 

The standout runner in the Grade One Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown on Saturday is Gerri Colombe. 

Gordon Elliott’s runner tops the betting at 6/5 for the race. 

Dineen rates the horse very highly but he believes there are strong ground concerns about the horse at Sandown. 

He said: “This is a proper horse on bad ground. He is set to encounter Good to Soft and possibly Good ground at Sandown. I don’t want to oppose him, as I hate backing against the best horses in the race, but I am worried about the ground. 

“If he was set to race on the ground they had in the Tolworth, I’d be all in on the horse. He may well still win this race, but I don’t think he is going to run to his maximum.” 

Wilders likes the chances of Balco Coastal in this race. Nicky Henderson’s runner is second best at 3/1 in the betting for the Grade One contest, and that is the way Wilders will be playing the race. 

He said: “Balco Coastal is going to be suited to this distance and ground better than any of the runners in this race. He looked very good in the handicap race at Kempton. If Balco Coastal is ever going to beat Gerri Colombe, this is the time.”

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